Seems that people are wondering what would happen to the Minnesota Vikings in terms of fantasy value if Brett Favre rides his Snapper riding mower off into the sunset.
The concept is pretty easy to visualize. Go out to your vehicle, open the hood and rip out the distributor cap. Then, try driving around the block. You’ll quickly get the point.
Like a distributor, Favre was the one to fire energy into each part of the Vikings collaborative effort last season. Taking him out of the equation would cause quite a ripple effect. Consider the following:
1. Brett Favre is currently ranked, conservatively, as a top-10 fantasy QB in redraft leagues (including my own). If he takes my advice and hangs up the cleats, we suddenly lose one more viable signal calling option on fantasy draft day.
2. If Favre is the distributor of the Vikings offensive scheme, than Adrian Peterson is the drive train. He was a fantasy force before Favre, and can be afterwards, too. Just be cautious … Peterson stayed healthy all last season for the first time since his inception into the league, the only year he played with a reliable QB option that kept defenses honest and stress off Peterson’s shoulders. If Favre retires, than Peterson becomes even more involved in the offense. On the surface, that seems like fantasy gold … but it also will make him more susceptible to injury. Be sure to check out my redraft running back rankings.
3. No one player saw a quicker rise to glory under Favre than Sidney Rice. However, his stock could drop just as quickly with Tavaris Jackson under center. Add to the conversation Rice’s mysterious hip injury. In fact, specialists suggested he have offseason surgery, and he’s been missing from preseason action so far. Rice should see a significant downgrade if Favre definitely is done on the gridiron. My redraft receiver rankings will need some adjustments.
4. Another player who Favre elevated to star status was tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, who will never see double-digit TDs with TJax or Sage Rosenfels calling the shots. A sneaky tight end play before, especially in TD leagues, Shiancoe wouldn’t be anything better than a TE2 without Favre locking into him in the red zone. Time to revisit my redraft tight end rankings?
5. Percy Harvin developed nicely last season as a rookie – in between bouts of headaches. Without Favre, he would definitely lose some value, but not as much as Rice and Shiancoe. Harvin offers a unique skillset that makes him a threat no matter where on the field he lines up. Perhaps he gets worked into the running game more to alleviate a potentially increased workload for Peterson. Maybe he gets some wildcat snaps as a way to reduce the opportunity of mistake by Tavaris Jackson or Sage Rosefels.
6. Bernard Berrian didn’t see the rise to glory that many suggested for him last season. Sidney Rice took over that role. However, the Rice hip injury may have created an opportunity for Berrian, but without Favre’s big arm, that opportunity is much less enticing from a fantasy standpoint.
7. Rookie Toby Gerhart may have found himself in the right situation at the right time. A potential loss of Favre means that the running game gets a huge boost in action. Peterson can’t carry that extra load by himself, and Gerhart is next in line to see a carries boost. While Gerhart wouldn’t a weekly fantasy starter unless Peterson missed time, he could be a nice situational play or bye-week fill-in if you got in a pinch.
8. Tavaris Jackson will be the first-in-line QB option if Favre does officially walk away, but counting on him as your starting fantasy QB is not advisable. In standard 12-team leagues, only 24 QBs are technically worthwhile to roster, and since TJax’s track record is as holey as a swiss cheese target at a shotgun shooting contest, there is no guarantee he’ll be able to hold off Sage Rosenfels or whatever castoff QB option the Vikings scramble to pick up.
9. Those who think a fantasy defense’s value has no correlation to offensive changes is sorely mistaken. Tavaris Jackson replacing Favre in the lineup will definitely lead to shorter drives and more time on the field for the Minnesota defense. It also means the squad will be playing more from behind and will see more boom or bust situations, less shutouts and less consistency.
How does this all fit into your fantasy football draft strategy? If you’re looking for a cookie-cutter response, don’t check here.
How do you think a possible Favre retirement affects the Vikings and their respective fantasy values? Let us know in the comments below.